Dana Air at 10: A testimony of doggedness

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Obi Mbanuzo

Despite all the challenges that airlines in Nigeria have to grapple with, Dana Air is proud to be celebrating 10 years of providing massive job opportunities, capacity development, training, broad corporate social responsibility and most of all, amazing flight service to Nigeria and Nigerians.

When we commenced operations 10 years ago, precisely on the 10th of November, 2008, our desire was change the convention and exceed the flying aspiration of our guests with our world-class services and today, with the support and loyalty of our esteemed guests, we have been able to achieve 10 years of service to Nigerians.

As you may be aware, we are about the second private domestic airline in Nigeria’s history to achieve this feat, and it’s on record that over 60 airlines have gone under without being able to even survive even 5 years in the industry. It hasn’t been easy as we have had to grapple with a lot of challenges in the last 10 years ranging from infrastructure, multiple taxes, and high cost of aviation fuel, but we are delighted to have been able to brave the storm and I must say our commitment, proficient management style, high standards, and passion for excellence brought us this far.’’

We have made significant and firm progress in our strategic route and fleet expansion program.  Our good understanding of the workings of the industry has been an added advantage and very soon we will announce the steps and progress made. It is our desire to cover more cities in Nigeria but we have to be strategic about it.”

Having flown over 2.7m passengers in the last 10 years of our operations with an on-time performance and  a world-class in-flight service that is yet to be unrivaled, our desire is to do another 10 years offering Nigerians the best of service hinged on customer satisfaction and safety.

We unflinching in our resolve to maintain what we have come to be known for but our appeal is that the needed support be given to airlines. If the VAT can be removed as assured by the federal government, we will be happy and this will surely have a positive impact too.’

It’s going to be a month-long celebration and we will appreciate our guests for their loyalty, our staff for their constant show of professionalism, passion and loyalty, the media for their support at all times and  our vendors and partners  for their patience and understanding.

In the area of corporate social responsibility, we have done quite a lot. Through our charitable trust, the Dana Foundation, we have been fulfilling our Corporate social responsibility with an in-flight envelop donation program and this has helped to raise millions of naira for the sickle cell foundation in Lagos, as well as autism patients. We have also supported a couple of other similar organizations like Rotary Club on blood donation and cancer fighting organizations like project PinkBlue, Children Living with Cancer Foundation just to mention a few.’’

It is on record that Dana Air is the only Nigerian airline at the moment sponsoring two Nigerian league clubs- Heartland FC of Owerri and Akwa United FC in Akwa Ibom state.

In unveiling the multimillion naira deal for both clubs, we considered their status. For Akwa United FC, they just won the Aiteo cup at the time, and Heartland, the governor wanted something special not just for his players but his people and our partnership with the government is part of what the state-owned club is enjoying at the moment. This has also helped ease their transportation to away games and improve their away performance.

As part of our commitment to help our teeming youths achieve their dreams and also grow their craft, we have supported a couple of entertainment and comedy shows in Nigeria. Dana Air cannot employ every Nigerian youth even if it is our desire, but how else can we help them grow? It is by supporting and encouraging them in whatever positive their hand finds doing and we are committed to this as a youth-friendly brand.

I could go on, but I can assure you, we have done quite a lot in the area of sports, health and well-being of Nigerians, community development, employment and the economy with our constant support towards the success of the Nigerian Economic Summit just in our 10 years of service to Nigeria.

Mr. Mbanuzuo is the chief operating officer of Dana Air 

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